Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find some information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

New students for fall 2020 may schedule an appointment with their advisor beginning April 13 and register for classes for fall beginning April 22. New students will also receive detailed registration information via email from our office beginning in early April.  

  1. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.  
  2. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  3. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  4. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  5. (Optional) Review registration FAQs.
  6. (Optional) Schedule an advising appointment

Fall 2020 Orientation

SIS will host a required Orientation for newly admitted graduate students for fall 2020.

More information coming soon!

Fall 2020 Students

As you wait for fall classes to begin, check out the exciting opportunities you will have during your time here at SIS. Consider options such as studying abroad, choosing a practicum as a potential capstone option in your second year, and completing rigorous skills institutes throughout your program of study. 

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses. SIS does not typically recommend that students register for more than 3 classes in any semester. Please note that international students holding F or J visas must register full-time (9 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters). All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal student loans, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer).

First-semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-672: Frameworks of Comparative and Regional Studies (only offered in the fall semester)
  2. SIS-673: Comparative Political Economy (only offered in the fall semester)
  3. One of the following:
    1. One regional concentration course (the list of approved regional courses for fall 2020 can be found here)
    2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for CRS.

Students in Development Management (DM) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and the Action Research Practicum in their final semester(s). DM students who begin in the fall semester are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course*
    • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    • A concentration course
    • An approved course in administration or management from Social Enterprise, business or public administration

*There are two required economics courses for DM students:

  1. ECON-603: Intro to Economic Theory, and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development.

ECON-603 is waived for DM students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take SIS-731 Economic Development. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for DM.

First semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Human Rights program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-733 International Peace & Conflict Resolution Seminar I
  2. Either SIS-622 Human Rights or PHIL-693 Global Ethics
  3. One of the following:
    1. A “choose-one” course in Philosophy (See the EPHR advising worksheet for a list of approved courses)
    2. An approved methodology course (Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses)
    3. A course in your concentration if you have a clear focus for your concentration. We recommend that you discuss registration decisions regarding your concentration with your academic advisor. Students will be asked to declare their concentration at the end of their second semester of enrollment.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for EPHR.

Students in Global Environmental Policy are encouraged to focus on required core courses in their first semester. Full-time students take 9 credit hours, three 3-credit courses:  

  1. SIS-660 Environment & Politics. Required. Students entering in the fall semester must take SIS-660 in their first semester.
  2. Two of the following:
    1. GEP “Choose ONE” course (See the GEP advising worksheet for a list of approved courses)Note: not all Choose ONE courses are offered every semester; some are fall or spring only. The approved GEP “Choose Two” courses for fall 2020 are: SIS-620 Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture and SIS-620 Water Governance.
    2. An approved methodology course (Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses. Students without a background in statistics are encouraged to take SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods as one of their methodology courses.)
    3. A concentration course
    4. An economics course*

*GEP students are required to take ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory and SIS-652 Intro to Environmental Economics. Students must complete ECON-603 or pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam prior to taking SIS-652. Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam may substitute a higher-level economics course in place of ECON-603. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for GEP.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-707: History of Global Politics
  2. Either SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course
    1. When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  3. An approved course in your chosen concentration

Students can find the list of approved concentration courses here: GGPS Approved Concentration Courses. (In order to access any form on this page, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.)

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the GGPS program.

First semester students in the International Affairs Policy and Analysis (IAPA) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-760: Complex Problems in International Affairs
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. A course in their intended competency track or a concentration course

Students can find the list of approved competency courses here. IAPA competency courses. (In order to access any form on this page, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.) Students interested in beginning their concentrations are encouraged to schedule a brief meeting with their advisor to discuss their interests.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for IAPA.

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-640 International Communication
  2. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  3. One of the following:
    1. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    2. A gateway or concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a gateway or concentration course, please consult with your academic advisor.
    3. An economics course*

*Students may choose either ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory or SIS-616: International Economics. IC students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite to register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IC.

Students in International Development (ID) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and capstone requirements after completing the core. First semester students are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    • An economics course*
    • A course for the area of concentration or elective

*There are two required economics courses for ID students:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory, and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development.

ECON-603 is waived for ID students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for ID.

First semester students in the International Economics (IE) program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-605: Introduction to Mathematical Economics (Students must have previously taken calculus)
  2. SIS-616 International Economics or a research methods course
    1. Students who have not previously taken International Economics should take SIS-616: International Economics. (This course will be applied toward the 6 credits of elective required for the degree.) SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Students who have already taken International Economics should discuss their background with the IE program director. Students with backgrounds in International Economics should take a research methods course (Please see the IE advising worksheet for a list of approved research methods courses).
  3. SIS-751: International Political Economy

Please review the Schedule of Classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to discuss the requirement.Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IE program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations program are encouraged to take:

  1. An economics course
    1. When selecting an economics course, please note that all IER students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. To enroll in SIS-616, students must demonstrate prior experience with micro-and macroeconomics, either through passing the SIS Economics Placement Exam or completing ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  2. One of the following:
    1. SIS-751: International Political Economy (for students taking SIS-616 during the fall semester)
    2. A “Choose Two” IER-related course (for students taking ECON-603 during their first semester)
      • Students can find the list of approved choose two courses here: IER Choose Two Courses. (In order to access any form on this page, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.) Students interested in beginning their concentrations are encouraged to schedule a brief meeting with their advisor to discuss their interests.
  3. One research and professional methods courseStudents with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623: Applied Econometrics I (Please note, SIS students must have permission from the IER program director before they will be allowed to enroll). Please see the IER program worksheet for a list of approved research and professional methods courses.

Please review the schedule of classes for course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to discuss the requirement.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations Certificate program are encouraged to take one or more of the following:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory
    1. IER Certificate students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam are allowed register for SIS-616: International Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One SIS elective course (Please consult the IER certificate work sheet or discuss your options with your advisor)

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER Certificate program.

First semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-733 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar I
  2. Two of the following:
    1. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    2. A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest (Please note that the Gateway courses for the concentrations in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation & Justice are not offered in the fall semester).
      • Culture, Identity & Peace: SIS-606 Culture, Peace and Conflict Resolution: Alternatives to Violence
      • International Negotiation: SIS-611 International Negotiation
    3. An approved core concentration course, if you are certain of your core concentration focus (See the back of the IPCR advising worksheet for a list of approved core concentration courses.)
    4. An economics course*

*Students may choose SIS-619 Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics (Please note that students must pass the SIS economics placement exam in order to waive the pre-requisite for SIS-616: International Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam).

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the fall semester are strongly recommended to take:

  1. SISG-775 Executive Leadership* (only offered in fall and summer): IR Online course with on-campus immersion Friday, August 21 – Sunday, August 23
  2. One or two of the following:
    1. A Concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet.)
    2. A Professional Research Methodology course (Approved course list is available on the SIS Graduate Advising website)
    3. An Economics course (Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS advising worksheet)

*Information regarding the Fall 2020 Executive Leadership course will follow. 

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A methods course, if required (see admissions letter for more information) or an economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information)
  2. Two - three concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above)

Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration, followed by a 3-credit capstone in their second semester.

Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take greater than 9 credits in their concentration.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

Students in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development program take three required courses in the fall semester:

  1. SIS-660 Environment and Politics
  2. One of the following economics courses:
    1. ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory (For students without a background in micro- or macroeconomics)
    2. SIS-652 Introduction to Environmental Economics (Students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam in order to register for SIS-652 Environmental Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.)
  3. One of the following core courses:
    • SIS-620 Water Governance
    • SIS-620 Political Ecology of Food & Agriculture
    • SIS-620 Democracy and Environment
    • SIS-649 Environment and Development

Marley Crutcher is the academic advisor for NRSD.

First semester students in the Peacebuilding certificate program are encouraged to discuss course selections with the certificate academic advisor, Jessica MacArthur.

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making or SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes
  2. SIS-653 Continuity and Change in USFP or a USFP “Choose Two” course (the approved USFP “Choose Two” courses for fall 2020 are: SIS-681 Intelligence and Foreign Policy; SIS-653 Grand Strategy; SIS-653 Public Diplomacy; SIS-653 Technology and National Security and/or one of the following approved courses on USFP toward a region: SIS-653 USFP Toward the Middle East; SIS-653 US-Russia Post-Cold War Relations)
  3. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616 International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.